Transdisciplinarity. (It’s a word…I think)

Transdisciplinarity.

The Golden Goose of the PYP.

Every PYP teacher’s dream…

“Wouldn’t it be amazing to spend the whole day on our Unit of Inquiry”

“How great would it be to have no stand-alones?”

“I wish all my math and literacy was authentically integrated!”

This past year, our school adopted the Common Core State Standards for Literacy and Math and we have spent the year trying our best to integrate the standards into our PYP.

We survived… and we did a pretty darn good job!

Now, as we begin to wrap up this year and think about next year, our teachers were chomping at the bit to “transdisciplinary-ify” (that ones definitely not a word) our language and math standards further. So we used one of our half day PD sessions to inquire into transdisciplinary learning. 

First our staff did a growing definition to tune into what they thought transdisciplinary learning was all about.

3 minutes to write your own definition on a post-it:

post it

5 minutes to combine your definition with a partner onto a recipe card:

recipe card

10 minutes to construct a collective definition with your whole teaching team on a sheet of blank paper:

paper

After giving each team a chance to share, we looked at what they PYP says about transdisciplinary learning:

pyp says

We used this video as a provocation to get teachers thinking about the endless possibilities of transdisciplinary learning:

 

Then we unpacked 3 levels of transdisciplinary connections:

Level 1:
What concepts, knowledge or skills are essential in order to:
– understand the central idea
– inquire into the lines of inquiry
– complete the summative

Level 2:
What concepts, knowledge or skills can enhance

Level 3:
What concepts, knowledge or skills can be taught
within the context of your Unit of Inquiry?

Finally we gave teams the rest of the afternoon to look at the Common Core State Standards with fresh eyes, through the lens of transdisciplinarity.

The result was amazing! All of our teams ended the day with a more transdisciplinary math and literacy scope and sequence. Some teams even ended up with no stand-alones!

Hopefully these documents will help to guide our thinking more next year about how math and literacy can serve the units of inquiry. It will be interesting to come back and look at these documents at the end of next year and reflect on how we can refine them again to further enhance the opportunities for transdisciplinary learning.

As we often say to our students…once you’re done, you’ve just begun!

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5 thoughts on “Transdisciplinarity. (It’s a word…I think)

    • tbondclegg August 9, 2015 / 1:47 pm

      Hi Kirsten, thank you so much. I am new to the education blogging world, but it has been fun to share my thoughts and questions over the past year. Good luck with yours! 🙂

      Like

  1. Emma Stafford September 6, 2016 / 3:32 am

    Hi! Might be a silly question, but we want to strive for Level 3 right? 🙂

    Like

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